April 28th, 2012. That's the day that is burned in my mind. The day that the destiny of the Chicago Bulls was altered and Derrick Rose's career was changed. It's the day that on one fateful play, he came down as he had thousands of times throughout his life, but this landing was not ordinary. Derrick Rose had torn his ACL and stunned Bulls fans everywhere. I remember going from overly elated that the Bulls had shut up the loud mouth Sixers to completely stunned and heartbroken at the sight of D-Rose laying on the ground in agony. Over the next season, we followed his progress with a microscope, hope gleaming from every mundane update. Derrick Rose is cleared for non-contact drills, Derrick Rose is warming up before games, Derrick Rose is cleared for full contact practice. Those updates nearly drove me and countless others insane.
November 22nd, 2013. I remember that night as well. He had torn his meniscus. I stayed up most of the night searching for any clues as to what had happened. Was it a sprain? Did he hyperextend it? Oh Lord, not another ACL? The prognosis was the same: Derrick Rose was done for the season. Would he ever be the same? Would the Bulls? Soon, Luol Deng was traded, Boozer was amnestied, but Bulls fans and management put their eggs in the "Derrick Rose will be healthy and an MVP again" basket and built a solid core around him with Pau Gasol, prized rookie Doug McDermott, Euroleague MVP Nikola Mirotic, and hoped for Rose to be Rose when the season began.
February 25th, 2015. Another knee injury, another disappointing season lost and the reality has sunk in: Derrick Rose can no longer be the Chicago Bulls' franchise player. It's time for the Bulls to move on from the hope that Derrick Rose can be the MVP again and start the painful process of leaving the Derrick Rose Era behind.